Friday, June 27, 2008

Oh, the Horror... (or When a good story goes BAD)

It was nearing midnight when it happened. At first, no one was really aware something had gone wrong. After all, everything seemed fine. The wheels turned smoothly, the engine hummed along, all in all, it was an ordinary night.


The train derailed in spectacular fashion, toppling off the tracks and crashing, end over teakettle (as my mother would say), until it landed in a smoking heap in the town of Stupidville.

Yep - don't you just hate when a story derails?

I've been cruising along on my latest manuscript - you know, the one I started back in January, shoved in a drawer about 60 pages in (metaphorically speaking of course, since it's on my laptop) and ignored until about a week ago?

I dug it out, read those 60 or so pages and thought - Aha! I have an... idea...

And then, like a crazy woman, I've been writing the rest of the story ever since. And it was pretty good - a little different (for me, anyway) and I was pretty happy with it. Sure, it needed the refinement of rewrites, there were things that needed changing here and there. No problem. Next thing you know, I've got almost 65k words of story. Wahoo!

Until that fiery crash yesterday afternoon.

Somehow, the story took over. Er... well, the characters actually took off - and boy did they go as far out there as possible. Somewhere, Rod Serling is smiling and saying, "You have just entered The Twilight Zone."

Now, I'm not sure how it happened, or why it happened. But they found their way out into Stupidville, with a plot twist dopey enough to make even the greeenest editor shake his or her head and say, "Riiiiggghht.... I don't think so."

But, I figure I should be able to fix it in the next draft or so, so I let them have at it. I let these characters do whatever they wanted, just to see how far they would go. I've got psychics, some pretty hot sex, a little gruesome violence, some really cartoonish characters, and no idea how to wrap it up, so that's going to get bizarre as well. At the same time, though, it's hysterical to see what twisted things my brain - with a little help from these characters - can come up with. Sure, probably not the best way to deal with it, but I think it's better to have fun with it and keep the idea in mind that I can and will fix it, than throw my hands up in frustration and shove the book back into a drawer (metaphorically speaking of course).

Besides, it gives me a chance to just kind of sit back and write - and who knows, it might not need quite as much tweaking as I think it will.

Either way, it was fun and I'm not at all sorry about it.

This time. =)

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